You are on page 1of 55




R. Craig Nation



Dmitri Trenin

November 2007

Visit our website for other free publication downloads

To rate this publication click here.

This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined

in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. As such, it is in the
public domain, and under the provisions of Title 17, United States
Code, Section 105, it may not be copyrighted.

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors

and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the
Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S.
Government. This report is cleared for public release; distribution
is unlimited.


Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should be

forwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War
College, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.


All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications are available

on the SSI homepage for electronic dissemination. Hard copies
of this report also may be ordered from our homepage. SSIs
homepage address is:


The Strategic Studies Institute publishes a monthly e-mail

newsletter to update the national security community on the
research of our analysts, recent and forthcoming publications, and
upcoming conferences sponsored by the Institute. Each newsletter
also provides a strategic commentary by one of our research
analysts. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, please
subscribe on our homepage at

ISBN 1-58487-327-2


The two papers grouped together here were

delivered at the Strategic Studies Institutes annual
strategy conference for 2007. As the theme of the
conference was global security challenges to the United
States and proceeded on a region by region basis, these
papers were delivered during the session devoted to
security challenges issuing from what is now called
Eurasia, i.e., to a large degree the former Soviet Union.
The authors illustrate the degree to which great power
rivalry in Eurasia has become a major security issue
and source of growing Russo-American tensions.
Whereas Dr. R. Craig Nation lays out some of the
fundamental macro-strategic issues of this rivalry and
U.S. goals in Eurasia, as well as the consequences of
Russian resistance to Western and American pressures,
Dr. Dmitri Trenin emphasizes the growing intensity of
Russian threat perceptions.
Inasmuch as the conference aimed to heighten
understanding of present and forthcoming security
challenges, these points concerning the centrality of
context and the mutually interactive nature of Russo-
American security agendas and dialogues are of great
importance in helping us grasp the tenor of our times.


Strategic Studies Institute


Increasingly, the armed forces and a vision of

security as emphasizing hard rather than soft security
have come to the fore in Moscows national security
policy process. Due to this institutionally-driven vision,
Russia sees itself facing increasing military-political
and strategic threats all along its frontiers. Recent
Russian policies reflect that perception and Moscows
adaptation to it. We may think this threat perception
to be misguided, even bizarrely misconceived, given
our own beliefs about what American policy is and
what its goals are. Nevertheless, the strongest forces in
the Russian policy community have bought into that
vision and have made policy accordingly.
Therefore, the key point that readers should take
as they read these papers together is that Russian
and American perspectives and policies are mutually
interactive. They do not take place in a strategic vacuum
devoid of all context, and develop to a considerable
degree in response to the other sides activities and
rhetoric. Neither we nor Russia can act in disregard of
the fact that our actions have consequences and that
other state actors in Eurasia, as elsewhere, also have a
vote in shaping the context of international affairs and
in the day-to-day conduct of U.S. and Russian national
security policy.


R. Craig Nation

Mysteries of Eurasia.

According to the geopolitical theory of Sir Halford

Mackinder, control of the Eurasian heartland, with its
incalculably great resource base and central strategic
location, was the key to global leadership.1 The
problem of Eurasia was resolved historically by the
combination of Russian power and backwardness. The
traditional Russian state imposed a kind of order within
the vast region, but remained too underdeveloped to
threaten traditional balances of power.
The Russian empire sought to define itself as a
national complex that embraced the Russian lands and
their border regions within a shared civilizational space
with a common destiny. The Russian state tradition,
together with Russian language and culture, played
the role of unifiers, providing the physical and spiritual
force of what commentators like Nikolai Berdiaev and
Petr Struve called the Russian Idea. These theorists
argued that Russias integrative role in Eurasia was a
foundation of its national identity. This was a Russia
that encompassed all those who participate in Russian
culture and was part of, but also distinct from, the
culture of the West.2 The Russian people is not purely
European, and it is not purely Asiatic, wrote Berdiaev.
Russia is a complete section of the world, and within
the Russian soul two principles are always engaged in
strifethe Eastern and Western.3
The challenge of alternative sources of order
in a Eurasia lacking a strong Russian state capable
of serving as Ordnungsmacht was posed by the

breakdown that accompanied the outcome of World
War I, but was temporarily resolved by the triumph
of Soviet power. The disappearance of the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the demise of
the Cold War system that sanctioned Soviet control
over the Eurasian land mass posed the challenge once
again. For some observers, the Soviet collapse was
an illustration that the imperial idea itself was fatally
flawed.4 In Russia the events of 1991 were sometimes
interpreted as a reincarnation of the breakdown of
1917, a confirmation of the decadence of the imperial
tradition and a demonstration . . . that the collapse
of the Russian Empire in 1917 was by no means
coincidental.5 For others it was the chiliastic pretense
of Soviet communism that had been exposed. In either
case, the coherence that Russian and Soviet authority
once imposed upon the heartland seemed to have
disappeared forever.
The enthusiastic association of the new Russian
leadership of Boris Yeltsin with the leading western
powers, and the United States in particular, briefly
seemed to be a watershed in Russian history. Deprived
at a stroke of its imperial inheritance, submitted to the
constraints of democratic governance, and exposed
to the discipline of the world market, Russia was
presumed to be committed to a process of transition
that would lead it inexorably toward some variant
of the western model.6 Abandonment of the imperial
legacy and the associated dynamic of expansionism was
considered to be particularly important. Russias critics
defined autocratic governance and expansionism as
complementary aspects of the Russian state traditiona
tradition that insisted on strong, centralized authority,
unconstrained either by law or parliament in search of
security through constant expansion.7 The break up

of the Soviet Union was an opportunity for Russia to
escape from the demons of its past. Only by shedding
its imperial pretense, accepting the costs of dismantling
centralized control, and cultivating horizontal ties
between citizens as a foundation for an autonomous
civil society, could Russia hope to put paid to its
messianic traditions and realize the goal of joining
the West.8 This meant abandoning the aspiration to
cultivate a distinctive Eurasian space and identity as
a foundation for national power. The choice between
Russian national state and Eurasian empire
was posed as a fateful one. Fundamentally, wrote
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the political struggle within
Russia is over whether Russia will be a national and
increasingly European state or a distinctively Eurasian
and once again an imperial state.9
Rather than serving as a prelude to a fundamental
reorientation, however, the first phase of post-
communist transition led directly to a severe economic
depression, a breakdown of civic order and public
morale, and a widespread perception of international
defeat and humiliation. The formula democratization,
market economy, and the rule of law, far from
imposing a new sense of meaning based upon the
material civilization of the West, created what was
widely felt to be an anarchical void in which Russias
entire civilization legacy was swallowed upa phase
of tragic schism and anarchy in the words of A. N.
One consequence was the revival of the concept
of Eurasia as a foundation for the Russian national
idea. Already in 1993 a new Russian Military Doctrine
proclaimed the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) area a region of Russian vital interests, and
the Russian Federations new Foreign Policy Concept

identified the former USSR as a region of Russian
special responsibility.11 Under foreign minister
Evgenii Primakov, cultivating a Russian sphere of
influence in the post-Soviet space was defined as
a national commitment of the highest order.12 This
concept has remained intact under the administration
of Vladimir Putin. A recently released survey of Russian
foreign policy priorities states baldly that developing
close relations with the new independent states of
post-Soviet Eurasia is the first priority of Russian
foreign policy.13 Putin advisors have articulated a
vision of Eurasian order based upon a division of
responsibilities between an enlarged European Union
(EU) as a dominant force in the West and Russia as a
renewed hegemonic leader in Eurasia.14
Whether Russia will become a European nation in
the sense implied by Brzezinski is not a question that
Russian policymakers are in a position to answer. But
there is a consensus that if Russia is to interact with
Europe and the West on a basis of equality, it must
use Eurasia as a base. In current Russian foreign
policy discourse, the concept of Eurasia does not
evoke the mystical source of cultural affiliation and
physical power popular on the far-right of the political
spectrum.15 Nor does it imply the goal of some kind of
Eurasian Union as a spiritual successor to the USSR.16
But it does refer to the geographical context within
which Russias most important foreign policy goals
must be pursued.
Washington has consistently opposed Moscows
interference in the affairs of the new independent states
on its borders and sought to resist any kind of imperial
revival. Consolidation of the sovereignty of the new
independent states and preservation of the post-Soviet
geopolitical status quo in the name of geopolitical

pluralism remains a foundation for regional policy. The
U.S. State Department/U.S. Agency for International
Development Joint Strategic Plan for the years 2007-
2012, for example, describes aggressive Russian policies
toward its neighbors as a major challenge.17 These
priorities are not likely to change, and a competitive
relationship with a more dynamic Russian Federation
will be an unavoidable result. At the same time, it is
important not to exaggerate Russian capacity. Despite
its impressive revival, the Russian Federation remains a
troubled and potentially fragile polity whose ambition
may well come to exceed its grasp. Blocking Russian
imperial revival is a foundation of U.S. Eurasian
policy, but it is important to think systematically about
the consequences of success. What kind of Eurasian
regional order will emerge in the absence of Russia as
ordering force? What other U.S. interests are at play
in this vast world region, and what kind of policies can
most effectively secure them?
The concept of Eurasia is used in an inconsistent way
within U.S. policy circles. The U.S. State Department
maintains a Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
parallel with a Bureau of Central and South Asian
Affairs. The U.S. Defense Departments European
Command Area of Responsibility includes Eurasia
as a constituent part, parallel with a Central Command
including former Soviet Central Asia. In both of these
configurations, Europe, the greater Middle East,
and Inner Asia are set apartthe substance of what
is referred to as Eurasia amounts to little more than
the Russian Federation and a handful of its weaker
neighbors. Western analysts have consistently sought
to assert that Eurasianism poses a false choice for
contemporary Russia, whose post-communist destiny
is still seen to lie in association with a wider West.18 If

we could realize the old Cold War vision of a unified
security community stretching from Vancouver to
Vladivostok, this perception might be a fair one.
Unfortunately, it has become clear that the Russian
Federation cannot and will not be assimilated into
the Euro-Atlantic community. Russias relations
with Europe are troubled, and an EU in the grip
of enlargement fatigue is not about to contemplate
overtures to Muscovy. The case for including Russia
as a full member of the new North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) can be compelling, but it is also
unrealistic. In fact, what is described as Eurasia in
much of U.S. foreign policy analysis equates to a kind
of limbo to which Russia has been willfully consigned
as a consequence of what might be construed as a policy
of exclusion. This limited vision does not correspond to
the new strategic realities of the Eurasian region in an
age of globalization, where the exclusion of important
national players will not be an option. Nor does it
correspond to the changing character of Eurasia itself,
and the kind of strategic issues that it poses.
The new Eurasia is a geographical complex that
includes the Russian Federation as an important actor,
but is no longer defined either by the geopolitical fault
lines of the Cold War or the weight of a reemerging
Russian imperial tradition. Russias aspiration to
reassert itself as a force in the region may have
some prospect of success, but attempts at dominion
are bound to fail. In outline, the new Eurasia is best
understood as a truncated version of Mackinders
World-Island, including Eurasia proper (with its
European appendage), the greater Middle East along
the southern flank, the inner Asian region including
post-Soviet Central Asia as well as Afghanistan,
Iran, and Pakistan, and significant parts of South and

East Asia.19 Strategic linkages in sectors of seminal
importance (energy, strategic lines of communication,
global terrorism, and great power rivalry) allow us to
define the region as a coherent strategic space where
the United States has important interests at stake that
can only be properly understood and pursued in their
full geographical context.
These interests can be outlined, albeit somewhat
schematically, as follows:
Assuring access for ourselves and our allies to the
energy resources of the region, which includes a
critical mass of available global reserves;
Defeating jihadist terrorism and addressing the
root causes of the political and social disaffection
that spawns it;
Maintaining regional stability, including efforts
to contain foci of instability along the arc of
crisis on the regions southern flank;
Managing the rise of an ambitious and
increasingly powerful, but also potentially
unstable China;
Channeling the ambitions of other aspiring
regional influentials and potential peer
competitors, including a combative Iran and
newly assertive India; and
Promoting the democratic transition of the
Russian Federation and on the basis of success
in that endeavor working cooperatively with
Russia in pursuit of mutual interests.

This list attempts to identify concrete issue areas

that are defined by broad transnational patterns of
association. They are unfolding in a new Eurasia,

understood as a territorial complex characterized
by strategic interlinkages but without an established
basis for a stable regional order. The new Eurasia is a
complex and diverse region, but it is not a mystery. It is
a major strategic complex within which important U.S.
interests are at stake. In the analysis that follows, some
of the more salient of these interests will be explored.

Energy Security.

The United States is the worlds largest energy

consumer, and securing access to global supplies
of energy resources is a vital national interest. It
does not heavily depend upon Eurasian sources of
hydrocarbons, but the role of Eurasia in world energy
markets is increasingly important. Russia possesses
up to 30 percent of known natural gas reserves and is
the worlds second oil producer after Saudi Arabia. It
has large untapped reserves but requires investment
and technological assistance to exploit them. Key U.S.
allies in Europe depend heavily upon Russian supplies
of hydrocarbons, and this dependency will inevitably
increase. Europe presently takes 30 percent of its oil
imports from Russia and 50 percent of its natural gas.
If present trends continue, by 2030 up to 80 percent of
Europes energy needs will be supplied from Russian
sources.20 Russia is also the worlds second consumer
of energy after the United States.
The Russian Federation has a critical role to play
assuring global energy security. Hydrocarbons are the
crucial foundation for Russian national revival, and
Putin has undertaken a series of initiatives to ensure
that they are under firm state control. These initiatives
have become a source of friction in relations between
Russia and its Western partners. The destruction of

Yukos and abusive incarceration of its leader, Mikhail
Khodokovskii, has become a kind of cause clbre in the
West and a symbol of Russias purported authoritarian
drift. Efforts to limit Western investment in the Russian
oil and gas industry, the forced revocation of an Exxon-
Mobile license to exploit the Sakhalin energy fields,
and the collapse of other proposed joint ventures have
generated mutual resentment. Accusations that Russia
is now using energy transfers as a weapon in its
efforts to impose new pricing structures in Ukraine
and Belarus, with deleterious impact upon contracted
supply to the EU market, are widespread, and Russia
has reacted to criticism by floating the possibility of
reorienting a portion of its energy exports toward the
east.21 Russias effort to lay territorial claim to a portion
of the Arctic seabed and its great hydrocarbon potential
is only the most recent example of an assertive energy
policy that is not afraid to throw down a gauntlet to
the West.22
Expanded investment and technological coopera-
tion could make the United States an attractive partner
for Russia in the energy sector. For the time being,
however, Washington has limited influence over
Russias domestic energy policy. The most disputed
source of energy supply in the Eurasian region has
been the Caspian Basin, where Washington has been
quite successful in challenging Russias privileged
By the mid-1990s, some U.S. estimates of the Cas-
pians oil potential reached 240 billion barrels, describ-
ing an El Dorado that rivaled the proven reserves of
Saudi Arabia. Such expectations provided a powerful
impetus for regional engagement. Commitments
to opening up the region to Western influence and
reducing dependency upon Moscow have been

pursued consistently in spite of the fact that appraisals
of the regions energy potential have been considerably
reduced.23 On July 21, 1997, Strobe Talbott described
the Caspian region as strategically vital, and this
estimate continues to inspire U.S. regional policy.24
Assuring access to Caspian resources has become
an important strategic goal. Today, independent
international sources such as British Petroleum estimate
the Caspians proven oil reserves at about 50 billion
barrels and natural gas resources at 9 trillion cubic
meters (4-5 percent of world reserves).25 This potential
does not come close to rivaling those of the Gulf region
or the Russian Federation, but it ensures the Caspian
regions status as an area of strategic interest.
Exploiting the regions potential has proven to
be difficult due to its inherent instabilities and to the
challenge of pipeline routing to bring resources from
the land-locked Caspian into global markets.26 At the
moment of the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Moscow
controlled all pipeline routes bringing oil and natural
gas out of the Caspian basin. U.S. policy in the post-
Soviet era has been directed toward facilitating the
construction of multiple pipelines, allowing more
equitable access that is not uniformly subject to
Russian control. This agenda has become associated
with a desire on the part of many regional states
to lessen their degree of dependence upon Russia
and encouraged leaning on the United States as an
alternative source of foreign policy orientation. U.S.
policy has also consistently sought to isolate Iran and
contain its regional influence.
The result has been a battle of pipelines that is still
underway. The completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
(BTC) main export pipeline (opened in the summer
of 2006) represented a major challenge to Russias

position in the region, described by President George
Bush as a monumental achievement that opens a new
era in the Caspian Basins development.27 A Baku-
Tbilisi-Erzurum South Caucasus Pipeline project is
also underway, directed at the Turkish market, with a
spur through Greece that will direct some resources to
Europe as well. A Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation
System is planned to bring oil from the Kazakh
Kashagan fields into the BTC pipeline network, and a
transport corridor project seeks to bring natural gas
from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan into the European
market by routes bypassing Russia. The United
States has also expressed interest in a Turkmenistan-
Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) natural gas pipeline, with
possible Indian participation. The EU is sponsoring the
construction of a Nabucco pipeline designed to bring
natural gas from Turkey to Austria across Romania,
Hungary, and Bulgaria, with a projected completion
date of 2012. In the spring of 2006, during a state visit
to Kazakhstan, U.S. Vice-President Richard Cheney
chastened Moscow for seeking to monopolize energy
trade in the former Soviet Union, and called upon
Astana to opt for pipelines bypassing Russia.28
Russia has remained in a strong competitive position
nonetheless. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, of
which Russia is an important member, takes about a
third of Kazakhstans oil production to the Russian
Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, and Russias Blue
Stream link to Turkey supplies a large part of the
Turkish natural gas market. In March 2007 Moscow
signed an accord with Bulgaria and Greece to construct
a Burgas-Alexandropoulis pipeline intended to rival
the BTC and give Russia more direct access to the
European market. In May 2007 Putin signed an accord
with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to bring natural

gas into Russia to supplement domestic consumption.
The Nord Stream natural gas pipeline scheduled for
completion in 2010 will link Russia directly to the
German market across the Baltic Sea. China has also
become a more aggressive player in regional energy
markets, and a major pipeline linking Kazakhstan to
Chinas Xinjiang region is currently under construction.
In some ways, the only major loser in the pipeline wars
of the Caspian has been Iran, which has been effectively
isolated, deprived of investment, and excluded from
major pipeline routes.
The great game for access to Caspian resources
has led to a healthy diversification of export arteries for
which there is an objective need. It has helped the new
independent states of the region find traction in their
dealings with the great powers who have become rivals
for regional influence. The rivalry is still underway
nonetheless. In the Caspian region, in the words of
Rgis Gent, oil and natural gas also represent the
means by which a struggle to control the center of
the Eurasian continent is waged.29 But the new great
game has been driven by geostrategic considerations
that have often warred against economic logicthe
exclusion of southern routings transiting Iran is a good
exampleand encouraged zero-sum gambits that
have hindered the cause of rational exploitation and
distribution. Moreover, the flood of oil revenues into
the fragile polities of the region has given an impetus to
corruption and reinforced authoritarian governance.
The United States has been successful in achieving
some of its basic policy goals in the region. Building on
the BTC and in cooperation with European partners,
it is in the process of creating an east-west transit
corridor that will bind the Caspian region more closely
to the West.30 It has broken Russias monopoly of

access. It has created space for states like Georgia and
Azerbaijan to lessen their dependence on their great
neighbor to the north and pursue more autonomous
national policies. These successes have created
friction with Russia, Iran, and China on other fronts.
Russia, in particular, will remain an indispensable
source of hydrocarbon resources, particularly on the
European market, no matter how much supply may
be supplemented by drawing on Caspian reserves.31
Irans energy potential remains a wild card that could
impact significantly upon world markets. In the longer
term, global energy security will need to be pursued by
cooperative polices uniting producers and consumers
in a search for sustainable equilibrium of supply and
demand. On this level, the competitive great game
of the post-Soviet Caspian does not offer a positive
example, and the issue of long-term energy security in
Eurasia remains open.

The Global War on Terrorism.

The southern tier of the Eurasian land mass,

approximately contiguous with what Zbigniew
Brzezinski has trenchantly described as an arc of
crisis or whirlpool of violence co-terminus with
the great crescent of Islamic civilization, is a zone of
mobilization for the worlds most threatening and ag-
gressively anti-American jihadist terrorist groupings,
including the remnants of Osama Bin Ladens original
al-Qaeda organization.32 It is the primary arena within
which what may still be referred to as the global war
on terrorism must be waged and won. Inner Asia is an
essential operating base for this effort. The geographical
belt paralleling the southern flank of the Russian
Federation, rich in strategic resources and geopolitical

potential, also has inherent strategic significance and
has become a bone of contention between aspiring
regional and global powers. It is one of the most
conflict prone regions in world politics, and the most
important market for global arms transfers, currently
absorbing over half the world total.
The Islamic factor is a constant throughout the
region, but it is difficult to generalize about its effects.
Most area states are fragile post-communist polities or
developing nations that threaten to be overwhelmed
by flawed transitions and frustrated modernization.
Islamic radicalism is one of the directions into which
accumulating political and socio-economic frustrations
are being channeled.33
Promoting regional stability in the larger sense,
including commitments to democratization, social
equity, and good governance, remains the foundation
of U.S. regional policy. A significant part of the threat
of transnational terrorism in the area grows out of
the activities of criminal networks, illegal trafficking,
and widespread corruption that only a long-term
development strategy can address. This should not in
any way be construed as a war against Islam. From the
Balkans into Inner Asia, the Islamic factor can become
a force working for social cohesion and development if
it is embraced and absorbed into an emerging modern
civic culture that accepts the premises of tolerance,
openness, and respect for diversity. But the imminent
threat of jihadist violence must also be addressed.
Moreover, unresolved or latent conflicts such as
those in Kosovo, Iraq, Kurdistan, Nagorno-Karabakh,
Chechnya, and the northern Caucasus, Georgia,
Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Kashmir all involve an
Islamic dimension.
From a U.S. perspective, the ongoing struggle
against the Taliban and their legacy in Afghanistan

and Pakistan will remain a priority for some
time.34 Promoting the nation-building process in
Afghanistan and balancing the need for stability and
modernization in Pakistan are long-term undertakings
that will require a consistent application of military,
diplomatic, cultural, and economic resources. Efforts
to open access to the region by developing an east-
west transportation corridor parallel to the EUs
TRACECA project bypassing Russia to the south is
also threatened by instability derived from Eurasias
so-called frozen conflicts and transnational terrorist
access to the region.35 Political initiatives designed
to facilitate negotiated solutions to the issues of
Kosovo, Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia,
and Nagorno-Karabakh are important components
of regional strategy. Cultivation of positive relations,
expanded security cooperation with a variety of
regional states, and strategic access including possible
basing and over-flight rights are likewise significant.
This may include promoting the eventual association of
Eurasian partners with key European and transatlantic
organizations. Security cooperation efforts include a
focus on building partner capability to secure critical
infrastructure, lines of communication, and strategic
resources on their own national territory as well as
globally. In southeastern Europe, the development
of Joint Task Force East locations in Romania and
Bulgaria, and in the southern Caucasus the cultivation
of Azerbaijan and Georgia as potential access nations
can help facilitate U.S. strategic reach. Security
cooperation also demands the promotion of defense
and security sector reform aimed at the development
of modern, professional military and security systems
subordinated to stable, democratically-empowered
civilian leadership.

An intrusive security posture in Inner Asia
associated with the pursuit of the global war on
terrorism has created friction in U.S. relations with
Russia and China. Concern over U.S. intentions has
encouraged wider collaboration between Moscow and
Beijing, most visibly manifested by the development
of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).36
From its origin the SCO has issued more or less overt
criticisms of U.S. security policy and practice in Inner
Asia, and a July 2005 leadership statement called upon
the U.S.-led coalition engaged in antiterrorist activities
in Afghanistan to provide a timetable for the withdrawal
of its bases in Central Asia.37 Chinese analysts argue that
the U.S. emphasis upon antiterrorism is linked with a
geostrategic agenda seeking to dominate the region
and use it as a source of leverage against great power
rivals.38 Russia opportunistically exploited Uzbek
concern over U.S. reactions to the Andijon incident of
May 2005 to achieve the closure of the U.S. air base at
Karshi Khanabad.39
In the case of Russia, such friction derives in part
from a more comprehensive disintegration of its
bilateral relationship with Washington, with multiple
causes. It does not necessarily reflect fundamental
disagreements about the nature of the war against
terrorism or the pursuit of security interests in Inner
Asia. Russia, perhaps more than any country in the
world, is closely aligned with the U.S. definition
of the terrorist threat. It understands the complex
security challenges associated with the phenomenon
of Islamism, including ways in which mal-governance
and criminalization impact upon the long-term goal
of promoting stability in the Islamic world.40 Russia
confronts a major threat of jihadist terrorism in areas
adjacent to and within its borders which it is in the U.S.

interest to help it contain.41 U.S. goals in Afghanistan
and Pakistan are not antithetical to its purpose.42
This coincidence of purpose applies to a wider
spectrum of security interests. Nonproliferation,
countering criminal trafficking, the campaign against
religious extremism and transnational terrorism,
limiting conventional arms racing, and addressing
ecological disasters all represent substantial mutual
concerns. In the words of one regional analyst,
Washington and Moscow . . . have a real opportunity
for coordinating their Central Asian policies on the
basis of their common strategic interests.43 Strategic
competition with both Russia and China in Inner Asia
is inevitable, but it can be combined with prudent
cooperation in areas of shared interest.

Regional Order.

Forward positioning in Europe under the aegis

of the NATO alliance remains the sine qua non of a
successful U.S.-Eurasian policy. Alliance maintenance,
cooperation with traditional European allies, and an
awareness of the continued vitality of the Alliance
itself as a basis for a dynamic U.S. world role are the
foundations for success. NATO, notably through the
Partnership for Peace program, continues to play a
positive role as a force for transition in the security
sector and source of inclusion throughout Eurasia.
The NATO-Russia Council provides an important
institutional link to Moscow. NATO deployments
in Afghanistan are making a useful, albeit limited,
contribution to the global war on terrorism. As the
Alliance continues its evolution from the collective
defense forum of the Cold War decades to a more
broadly based collective security community, its role in

Eurasia will increase. The United States should support
and encourage this evolution. Sustained association
with traditional European allies is a vital U.S. interest.
Europe remains an indispensable platform for U.S.
global engagement.44
U.S. initiative may become even more important
in view of the EUs manifest inability to develop a
dynamic and engaging Eurasian policy. EU relations
with the Russian Federation are troubled, and the
promise of strategic partnership a fading dream.45
The new EU member states that have emerged from
the ranks of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Warsaw
Pact have proven to be a significant lobby for policies
blocking extensive cooperation with Moscow. Key
European states have reacted badly to human rights
abuses and the perceived unreliability of Russian
energy supply. The EUs European Neighbourhood
Policy (ENP), designed to create a common space
in the central European corridor between Russia and
the EU proper, has generated considerable resentment
in Moscow, where it is perceived as yet another form
of encroachment on Russias legitimate sphere of
influence.46 The ENP has also closed the door to realistic
prospects for membership on the part of western
leaning polities such as Georgia and Ukraine.47 In some
measure, these failures are due to the EUs inability to
overcome its chronic deficiencies as a strategic actor.
NATOs role in the new Eurasia will be limited
by the need to sustain cooperative relations with the
Russian Federation. Influential members of the Russian
armed forces and national security community cling to
an image of NATO and the United States as traditional
security threats. Militarily, Moscow will continue to view
Eurasia as a sphere of special interest where Western
influence should be limited to the extent possible,

and it can bring powerful policy instruments to bear
in pursuit of its goals. Most of the new independent
states of post-Soviet Eurasia depend heavily upon
Russia in one way or anotheraccumulated debt,
energy dependency, security guarantees, labor
migration and remissions, and political support all
provide meaningful sources of leverage.48 Of course,
subservience to Moscows direction can be challenged.
The colored revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine (and
to a lesser extent Kyrgyzstan) illustrate various kinds
of defiance to heavy-handed direction from Moscow,
albeit with mixed outcomes.49 Georgia remains an
outspoken opponent of Russian prerogatives and
close U.S. ally and has demonstrated the will to stand
up to Russian pressure.50 But the ambiguous results
of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine sound a note
of caution concerning what can be expected from this
kind of political initiative in cases were public opinion
is divided and links to Russia remains strong.51 Russia
has consistently denounced the phenomenon of
colored revolutions as a strategy of destabilization
promoted from abroad, and is actively and openly
promoting a reversal of their consequences.52
Russias relations with its Eurasian neighbors are
conducted on a traditional bilateral basis as well as in the
context of a growing number of forums for multilateral
association. This represents an effort to organize the
Eurasian space in political and economic terms distinct
from a European project from which Russia has been
excluded. It also means creating some kind of strategic
balance against NATO and the United States. The
cautious and pragmatic initiatives of the NATO-Russia
Council are not sufficiently robust to offset concern for
Western military penetration. The legacy of NATOs
war in Kosovo, repositioning of U.S. forces into the

wider Black Sea area, the ongoing dynamic of NATO
enlargement, U.S. and NATO refusal to ratify an
amended version of the Conventional Forces in Europe
Treaty pending a Russian pull-out from Moldova and
Georgia, long-term basing arrangements in Inner Asia,
and U.S. plans to construct missile defense systems
in central Europe have all created concern. Indeed,
Russian Chief of Staff Iurii Baluevskii has pointed
to the U.S. commitment to expanding its economic,
political, and military presence in Russias traditional
zones of influence as his countrys top national
security threat.53
The CIS clings to a kind of half-life, useful as a
forum for certain kinds of interaction and association
but painfully short of dynamism. Russian sources
continue to cite its relevance, particularly as a forum
for economic coordination.54 At the CIS summit in 2003,
four countriesRussia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and
Belarussigned an agreement establishing a unified
economic space with the goals of eliminating tariffs and
harmonizing markets in key areas such as transport
and energy. The Eurasian Economic Community,
which emerged from the CIS Customs Union in
2001, is a useful vehicle for harmonizing exchange.
Its association with the Central Asian Cooperation
Organization (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan) makes it a broader Eurasian forum.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
also emerged from within the CIS.55 Since 2002 it has
striven to assert its legitimacy as a regional collective
security forum, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei
Ivanov has spoken of the CSTO as a potential Eurasian
partner for NATO.56 The most substantial of the
new Eurasian forums is the SCO. It has undertaken
significant initiatives, particularly in coordinating

antiterror activities, but it is also a forum within which
Russia will be condemned to play second fiddle to its
dynamic Chinese partner.
The United States has actively resisted Russian
efforts to use the CIS as a vehicle for encouraging
reconsolidation of the post-Soviet space. Since 1996
it has supported the activities of the GUUAM forum
(an association of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan,
Azerbaijan, and Moldova) as a means of resisting
Russian influence. In May 2006, following Uzbekistans
withdrawal, a rechristened Organization for Democ-
racy and Development-GUAM, picked up the torch.57
Some analysts have argued that the United States
would benefit from establishing more formal ties with
Eurasias Russian-sponsored economic and security
forums, but to date without success.58 None of these
new Eurasian multilateral forums is particularly
strong for the time beingthey can still safely be
neglected or ignored. In the longer term, however,
a refusal to develop more formal ties may become
counterproductive. While none of these organizations
is so robust as to pose a meaningful threat to U.S.
interests, they do have the potential to contribute to
the overarching goal of regional stability. The United
States should avoid turning support for GUAM into a
zero-sum game with Russia for influence in a region
where both parties have important interests at stake.
The organization should be crafted to complement,
rather than compete with the CIS, by encouraging
overlapping association and cooperative programs.
The United States should likewise avoid the trap of
pursuing an assertive containment policy toward
Russia in areas where powerful interdependencies
militate against its success.59
Russia is also a member of the Organization of
the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (within which

the United States maintains observer status) and is
actively engaged in what U.S. strategists have taken
to calling the wider Black Sea area. This complex
region is perceived as an emerging area of economic
opportunity, an integral part of a viable Europe-
Caucasus-Asia transport corridor, and a potential
strategic buttress against threats emerging from the
Islamic Middle East. Some analysts have called for
a Black Sea strategy specifically designed to exclude
Russian influence.60 This kind of approach risks
provoking competitive reactions and countervailing
associations that will make it more difficult to achieve
foreign policy goals.61 A better approach would build
on policies of inclusion and broad based cooperation.
Of particular importance are efforts already underway
to rescue the U.S.-Turkish strategic relationship from
the pressures to which it has been subjected during the
war in Iraq.62

Relations with the Russian Federation.

U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation asserts

an aspiration to partnership and a commitment to
pragmatic cooperation in areas of common interest.63
This is combined with a more aggressive commitment
to push back on negative Russian behavior.64 In
practice, throughout the 1990s a weakened Moscow
had little choice but to bow, albeit often begrudgingly,
to U.S. initiatives when national priorities diverged.
To a certain extent, Washington may have become
accustomed to Russian compliance. Todays Russian
Federation is a much more dynamic and ambitious
polity with a stronger sense of its prerogatives. Putins
Russia has repeatedly asserted its determination to
pursue autonomous national policies irrespective

of the opinions of others.65 Its responses to policy
disagreements with the United States have become
uncooperative and obstructive.66 The parallel pursuit
of the goals of encouraging Russias development as
a stable geopolitical partner and pushing back
against perceived misbehavior may no longer be a
productive course of action on either count.
The state of Russian-American relations has become
affected by rhetorical excess on both sides, perhaps
culminating with Putins remarks to the 2007 Munich
Wehrkunde publicly condemning a unipolar model
of world order where one state, the United States, has
overstepped its national borders in every sphere.67
Much of the rhetoric has been aimed at domestic
constituencies, but the impact of such vituperative
language should not be underestimated. It fairly reflects
a troubled relationship where cooperative initiatives are
losing ground. In the United States, there is bipartisan
concern over Russias less cooperative domestic and
international agendas. A recent report by the Council
on Foreign Relations under the general direction of
Senators John Edwards and Jack Kemp is sharply
critical of Russias wrong direction and recommends
a retreat from a commitment to broad partnership
to a more discrete policy of selective cooperation.68
Expressions of dissent from this near consensus sound
like voices in the wilderness.69 In Russia, the dominant
tone of the state-influenced Russian media, academic
commentary, and official discourse is highly critical of
the United States.70 If policy discourse is any measure,
the current state of Russian-American relations is grim
and shows no signs of immediate improvement.
Russia is nonetheless a potentially vital partner
for the successful pursuit of U.S. interests in the
new Eurasia. The viability of the nonproliferation

regime, international pressure to break the dynamic
of proliferation in the cases of North Korea and Iran,
counterterrorism efforts and the defeat of jihadist
offensives, energy and environmental security, nuclear
strategic stability, movement toward a viable Eurasian
regional order including deepening democratization
and an enlarged and stable Euro-Atlantic community,
and cooperative security initiatives among the great
powers of East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Russia,
and the United States) all depend upon working
with, rather than against, the Russian Federation. The
gravitational pull of a reviving Russian Federation as
a force in Eurasia, based on its central role in existing
energy systems and transportation infrastructure,
profound economic dependencies, extensive capital
investment, importance as a market and destination
for labor migration, primacy in regional security
structures, and cultural strength is incontrovertible.
This is a Russia whose intent should be understood
as to reinvigorate the former Soviet space, not as a
historical atavism in the Soviet mold but as a developing
economic zone with Russia as its powerful center.71
Cooperation with the Russian Federation need not
be a pipe dream. Programs already in place, such as
the Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative, designed
to help Russia cope with the threat of proliferation,
or security cooperation initiatives on a military-
to-military level, function rather well. Despite the
relative progress that it has recently enjoyed, Russia
also needs positive and productive relations with the
United States and the West to further the process of
modernization, facilitate integration with the world
economy, tap Western technological potential to exploit
its own immense resources fully, and to accomplish
basic national security goals in the Eurasian area.72

Henry Kissinger has sagely remarked of the U.S.-
Russian relationship that differences among states
are inevitable when their interests diverge. But these
differences can be mitigated, for they are not, in fact,
all that great, when they are placed alongside a larger
sphere of cooperation.73 Finding ways to expand this
sphere of cooperation is an important and difficult
challenge for a successful U.S. Eurasian policy.

Summary and Conclusion.

The key issues that define U.S. interests in the new

Eurasia are energy security, counterterrorism and
Islamism, counterproliferation, and great power ri-
valry. These interests are transnational and transre-
gional in character.
Defined as the dual continents of Europe and
Asia, the new Eurasia includes a critical mass
of world energy reserves. Ensuring access
by cultivating relations with producer states,
constructing and maintaining reliable pipeline
infrastructure, guaranteeing strategic lines of
communication, and defending political stability
in conflict prone regions are vital to the United
States and its allies. They are also important
prerequisites for the balanced development for
regional states.
Eurasia encompasses most of the most important
centers of contemporary Islamic civilization.
It has been the cradle for many of the most
militant anti-U.S. jihadist movements. The
Eurasian arena will be an important crucible
for relations between Islam and the West for
decades. The United States needs to prevail in
Afghanistan and address the threat of Islamic

terrorism in the short term while simultaneously
pursuing a policy of dialogue and inclusion
designed to prevent the emergence of a clash
of civilizations with the potential to open a
confessional divide.
The new Eurasia has also become an area of
strategic interaction between great powers,
including the EU, United States, Russia, China,
and India. The new Great Game in Inner
Asia is not just a clever phraseit references
the reality of increasingly sharp geopolitical
competition for leverage and influence. The
United States will resist the emergence of a single
hegemonic power in the Eurasian heartland.
It should also be wary of the development of
countervailing coalitions (such as the SCO
might become under certain circumstances)
that draw on anti-Americanism as a source of
cohesion. Washington must pursue its interests
in economic and strategic access, democratic
transformation, and regional stability. But
relations between the great powers in Eurasia
need not inevitably lead to conflict. There are
significant mutual interests at play (including
the common goal of resisting proliferation and
reinforcing strategic stability) as well as areas of
Russia has the potential to make important
contributions to the successful pursuit of U.S.
interests in the new Eurasia. Managing the U.S.-
Russian relationship so as to make the pragmatic
pursuit of mutually beneficial policies possible
is an important challenge.

The new Eurasia is a wide stage upon which many of
the most critical issues confronting the United States
and its allies will be worked out in the decades to come.
In order to define and pursue U.S. interests effectively,
it is important to develop policies that conceptualize
and address them in an appropriately broad context.


1. In Mackinders famous dictum, Who rules the Heartland

commands the World-Island; Who rules the World-Island
commands the World. Halford Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and
Reality, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1962, p. xviii.
2. P. Struve, Istoricheskaia sushchnost Russkoi revoliutsii
i natsionalnye tseli (The Historical Essence of the Russian
Revolution and National Goals), Ocherki o russkoi revoliutsii,
Moscow, 1990, pp. 247-248.
3. Nicholas Berdiaev, The Russian Idea, Boston: Beacon Press,
1962, p. 2.
4. Jean-Marie Duroselle, Tout Empire prira: Thorie des relations
internationales (All Empires Perish: The Theory of International
Relations), Paris, 1992, pp. 284-310.
5. V. V. Sogrin, 1985-1995: Realii i utopii novoi Rossii (1985-
1995: Realities and Utopias of the New Russia), Otechestvennaia
istoriia, No. 2, 1995, pp. 9-10.
6. Anders slund, Russias Success Story, Foreign Affairs,
September/October 1994, pp. 58-71.
7. The first citation is from Richard Pipes, Russian Conservatism
and its Critics: A Study in Russian Political Culture, New Haven:
Yale University Press, 2005, p. 1; and the second from Adam
Ulam, Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy 1917-73, 2nd
ed., New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. 1974, p. 377.
8. Richard Pipes, Russias Choice, Commentary, March 1992,
pp. 28-33.
9. Zbigniew Brzezinski, A Plan for Europe, Foreign Affairs,
January/February 1995, p. 31.
10. Kuda idet Rossiia? 10 let reforma. Zasedanie Kruglogo
stola (Wither Russia? 10 Years of Reform. A Round Table

Session), Otechestevennaia istoriia, No. 4, 1995, p. 198. Alekandr
Solzhenitsyn, Rossiia v Obvale (Russia in Ruins), Moscow: Russkii
put, 1998, states this perception powerfully.
11. See Andrei P. Tsyganov, Russias Foreign Policy: Change and
Continuity in National Identity, Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield
Publishers, Inc., 2006, pp. 78-81.
12. Sergei Rogov, Evraziiskaia strategiia dlia Rossii (A Eurasian
Strategy for Russia), Moscow: Institute SShA i Kanady, 1998.
13. Obzor vneshnei politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Survey of the
Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation), Moscow: Foreign Ministry
of the Russian Federation, 2007, p. 28.
14. Sergei Markov speaking to the conference The EU and
Russia: Challenges of a Pan-European Perspective, Forl, Italy,
April 29, 2007.
15. Dmitry Shapentokh, Dugin, Eurasianism, and Central
Asia, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2, June
2007, pp. 143-156; and Jacob W. Kipp, Aleksandr Dugin and
the Ideology of National Revival: Geopolitics, Eurasianism and
the Conservative Revolution, European Security, Vol. 11, No. 3,
Autumn 2003, pp. 91-125.
16. This is a major theme of Aleksandr Dugin, Misterii Evrazii
(Mysteries of Eurasia), Moscow: Arktogeia, 1998, sometimes
described as the manifesto of the contemporary Russian
Eurasian school.
17. U.S. Department of State/USAID, Joint Strategic Plan, 2007-
2012, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, 2007.
18. See Tim McDaniel, The Agony of the Russian Idea, Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1996; and Dmitri Trenin, The End of
Eurasia: Russia on the Border between Geopolitics and Globalization,
Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
19. In his seminal work, Mackinder defines the heartland
quite expansively. The Heartland, for the purposes of strategical
thinking, includes the Baltic Sea, the navigable Middle and
Lower Danube, the Black Sea, Asia Minor, Armenia, Persia, Tibet,
and Mongolia. Within it, therefore, were Brandenburg-Prussia
and Austria-Hungary, as well as Russiaa vast triple base of
manpower. Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, New York:
Henry Holt and Company, 1919, p. 72. The concept of the world

island is defined even more expansively as the joint continent of
Europe, Asia, and Africa. Ibid., p. 45.
20. Cynthia A. Roberts, Russia and the European Union: The
Sources and Limits of Special Relationships, Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army
War College, Strategic Studies Institute, February 2007, p. 49.
21. Christophe-Alexandre Paillard, Gazprom: Mode demploi
pour un suicide nergtique (Gazprom: How to Commit Energy
Suicide), Russie. NEI, Visions, No. 17, IFRI, March 2007.
22. Aleksandr Gabuev, Kholodnana voina prishla na sever,
(The Cold War Comes to the North), Kommersant, August 4,
23. See Steve Levine, The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire
and Fortune on the Caspian Sea, New York: Random House, 2007.
24. Cited from
25. BP Statistical Review of World Energy, London: British
Petroleum, 2006. Irans portion of the seabed remains partially
26. Gawdat Bahgat, Prospects for Energy Cooperation in the
Caspian Sea, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 40. No.
2, June 2007, pp. 157-168.
27. Ibid., p. 166.
28. Ilan Greenberg and Andrew E. Kramer, Cheney Urges
Kazakhs to Bypass Russia, International Herald Tribune, May 6,
29. Rgis Gent, Du Caucase lAsie centrale, grand jeu
autour du ptrole et du gaz (From the Caucasus of Central Asia,
Great Game Around Fuel and Gas), Le Monde diplomatique, June
2007, p. 18.
30. Brenda Schaffer, From Pipedream to Pipeline: A Caspian
Success Story, Current History, Vol. 104, No. 684, October 2005,
p. 243.
31. P. Kanygin, Energeticheskaia bezopasnost Evropy i
interesy Rossii, (The Energy Security of Europe and the Interests
of Russia), Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No.
5, 2007, pp. 3-11.
32. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the
Eve of the Twentieth Century, New York: Collier Books, 1993, p.

33. See Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central
Asia, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
34. Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason, Understanding
the Taliban and Insurgency in Afghanistan, Orbis, Winter 2007,
pp. 71-89.
35. For background, see Dov Lynch, Engaging Eurasias Separatist
States: Unresolved Conflicts and de facto States, Washington, DC: U.S.
Institute of Peace, 2004.
36. Launched in 1996 as the Shanghai Five and renamed the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2001, the organization
includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan as full members; and Iran, Pakistan, India, and
Mongolia as observers.
37. Declaration of Heads of Member States of Shanghai
Cooperation Organization, Astana, July 5, 2005, at www.sectsco.
38. Chzhao Khuashen, Kitai, tsentralnaia aziia i shankhaiskaia
organizatsiia sotrudnichestva (China, Central Asia, and the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization), Working Paper No. 5, Moscow:
Carnegie Moscow Center, 2005, pp. 41-44; and Bates Gill, Rising
Star: Chinas New Security Diplomacy, Washington, DC: Brookings
Institution Press, 2007, pp. 149-151.
39. Eugene Rumer, The U.S. Interests and Role in Central
Asia after K2, The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer
2006, pp. 141-154. The U.S. Government had criticized the Uzbek
governments use of excessive force to repress rioting in the city
of Andijon in May 2005.
40. Svante E. Cornell and Niklas L. P. Swanstrom, The Eurasian
Drug Trade: A Challenge to Regional Security, Problems of Post-
Communism, Vol. 53, No. 4, July/August 2006, pp. 10-28.
41. Gordon M. Hahn, Russias Islamic Threat, New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2007, pp. 234-240.
42. In a Joint Declaration of March 26, 2007, Russia and China
state that:
Russia and China favor continuing efforts for the
peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and support
the positive efforts of the government of Afghanistan
on behalf of socio-economic development, post-war
reconstruction, the development of good neighborly

relations and friendship, and the rapid transformation
of Afghanistan into a peaceful, secure, and economically
prosperous government.
These are identical to U.S. goals. Sovmestnaia deklaratsiia
Rossiiskoi Federatsii i Kitaiskoi Narodnoi Respubliki, (Joint
Declaration of the Russian Federation and the Peoples Republic
of China), Problemy Dalnego Vostoka, No. 3, 2007, p. 11.
43. Farkhod Tolipov, The Strategic Dilemma of Central Asia,
Russia in Global Affairs, No. 4, October-December 2006, p. 22.
44. The U.S. State Departments current Joint Strategic Plan
describes Europe, including NATO, OSCE, the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, and the EU agenda, as
a platform for global transformational diplomacy. Joint Strategic
Plan 2007-2012.
45. Maurizio Massari, Russia and the EU Ten Years On: A
Relationship in Search of Definition, The International Spectator,
Vol. 42, No. 1, March 2007, pp. 1-15.
46. N. Arbatova, Obshchee politicheskoe prostranstvo
mezhdu Rossiei i ES: Utopiia ili realnost? (A Common Political
Space between Russia and the EU: Utopia or Reality?), Mirovaia
ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 12, 2006, pp. 3-12.
47. Karen E. Smith, The Outsiders: The European
Neighbourhood Policy, International Affairs, Vol. 81, No. 4, 2005,
pp. 757-773.
48. Fiona Hill, Moscow Discovers Soft Power, Current
History, Vol. 105, No. 693, October 2006, pp. 341-347.
49. For mature evaluations of these events, see Graeme P.
Herd, Colorful Revolutions and the CIS: Manufactured Versus
Managed Democracy, Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 52, No.
2, March/April 2005, pp. 3-18; Tom Wood, Reflections on the
Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs,
Vol. 30, No. 2, Summer 2006, pp. 43-56; Vladimir Papava, The
Political Economy of Georgias Rose Revolution, Orbis, Vol. 50,
No. 4, Fall 2006, pp. 657-667.
50. Anatolii Gordienko, Saakashvili zagovoril o Rossii v
tretem litse, (Saakashvili Spoke of Russia in the Third Person),
Nezavisimaia gazeta, December 29, 2006. Georgia is a major
contributor to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Kosovo Forces

51. Ianina Sokolovskaia, Zhdat li Ukraina novoi revoliutsii?
(Does Ukrania Confront a New Revolution?), Izvestiia, July 6,
52. V. S. Kotliar, Mezhdunarodnoe pravo i fenomen
tsvetnykh revoliutsii v stranakh SNG, (International Law and
the Phenomenon of Colored Revolutions in the Countries of the
CIS), Gosudarstvo i pravo, No. 5, 2007, pp. 71-76.
53. Vladimir Isachenkov, Baluyevsky Calls U.S. Expansion a
Threat, The Moscow Times, February 12, 2007, p. 4.
54. N. Shumskii, Strategiia razvitiia Sodruzhestva
Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv,(The Development Strategy of
the Commonwealth of Independent States), Voprosy ekonomiki,
No. 12, 2006, pp. 128-138; and N. Fedulova, Sodruzhestvo
Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv15 let spustia, (The Common-
wealth of Independent States15 Years Later), Mirovaia
ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, No. 12, 2006, pp. 82-91.
55. Adam Weinstein, Russian Phoenix: The Collective
Security Treaty Organization, The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy,
Vol. VIII, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2007, pp. 167-180.
56. According to Ivanov, the next logical step may be to work
out a mechanism for cooperation between NATO and the CSTO
with corresponding, clearly defined spheres of responsibility.
Cited in Vladimir Mukhin, Novyi razdel Evrasii, (A New
Partition of Eurasia), Nezavismaia gazeta, December 4, 2006. CSTO
members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Tajikistan. Russias clear preeminence within the organization
limits its legitimacy.
57. Anna Iazkova, Ekspansiia svobody na postsovetskom
prostranstve (The Expansion of Freedom within the Post-Soviet
Space), Nezavisimaia gazeta, June 5, 2006.
58. Richard Weitz, Averting a New Great Game in Central
Asia, The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2006, pp.
59. Yuliya Timoshenko, Containing Russia, Foreign Affairs,
Vol. 86, No. 3, May/June 2007, pp. 69-82.
60. Bruce P. Jackson, The Soft War for Europes East, Policy
Review, No. 137, June/July 2006, pp. 3-14.
61. Fiona Hill and Omer Taspinar, Turkey and Russia: Axis of
the Excluded, Survival, Vol. 48, No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 81-92.

62. Aylin Gney, An Anatomy of the Transformation of the
U.S.-Turkish Alliance: From Cold War to War on Iraq, Turkish
Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, September 2005, pp. 341-359; and Michael
M. Gunter, The U.S.-Turkish Alliance in Disarray, World Affairs,
Vol. 167, No. 3, Winter 2005, pp. 113-123.
63. See the remarks made at the Embassy of the Russian
Federation by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R.
Nicholas Burns in Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of
U.S.-Russia Relations, January 30, 2007, at
rm/2007/80198.htm. Burns asserts that we have a partnership
with Russia.
64. Examples of negative Russian behavior are elaborated in
the Department of State/USAID, Joint Strategic Plan 2007-2012:
Increasing centralization of power, pressure on
NGOs and civil society, a growing government role in
the economy, and restrictions on media freedom have all
emerged as clear and worrisome trends. Russian weapon
sales to such states as Iran, Syria, and Venezuela are also
cause for great concern throughout the international
community. Russias policy toward its neighbors is
another major challenge, especially Moscows support
for separatist regions in Georgia and Moldova, its
political and economic pressure against Georgia, and
its monopolistic use of energy to pressure neighboring
states and gain control of infrastructure and strategic
65. Vneshnepoliticheskaia samostoiatelnost Rossii
bezuslovnyi imperativ (Russias Foreign Policy Indepen-
denceAn Unconditional Imperative), Moskovskie Novosti, July
11, 2007.
66. In remarks to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried noted that:
In the past few months, Russian leaders and senior
officials have, in quick succession: threatened to suspend
Russias obligations under the Treaty on Conventional
Armed Forces in Europe, the CFE Treaty; criticized
U.S. plans for a modest missile defense system based in
Europe and rejected our explanation that it is intended
to counter potential threats from Iran, only to propose
missile defense cooperation in Azerbaijan; attacked U.S.

agreements with Romania and Bulgaria to establish joint
training facilities in those countries, even though this
would involve no permanent stationing of U.S. forces;
left the impression that theres no will to find a realistic,
prompt resolution of Kosovos final status; threatened
the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova by
giving renewed support to separatist regimes and
issuing veiled threats to recognize breakaway regions in
those countries; further restricted freedom of assembly
and association by preventing peaceful demonstrations
as well as hindering the operation of organizations such
as Internews.
Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations, Remarks before the U.S.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Daniel Fried, Assistant
Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, June 21,
2007, at
67. Vystuplenie prezidenta Rossii Vladimira Putina na
Miunkhenskoi konferentsii po voprosam politiki bezopasnosti
10 Fevralia 2007 goda, (Address of Russian President Vladimir
Putin to the Munich Conference on Security Policy, February 10,
2007), Izvestiia, February 13, 2007.
68. Russias Wrong Direction: What the United States Can and
Should Do, Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force
Report No. 57, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2006.
69. One example is Gary Hart, Dont Lose Russia: Letter to
Democrats, The National Interest, No. 88, March/April 2007, pp.
70. Anatolii Utkin, Amerikanskaia imperiia (The American
Empire), Moscow: Izdatelstvo Eksmo, 2003, provides a substantial
example of this kind of analysis.
71. Roberts, Russia and the European Union, p. 62.
72. Dmitrii Trenin, Pochemu Amerika i Rossiia nuzhny drug
drugu (Why Russia and America Need One Another), Pro et
Contra, No. 2, Issue 36, March-April 2007, pp. 6-17.
73. Cited in Artur Blinov, Genri Kissindzher: Moskva i
Vashington dolzhny sotrudnichat (Henry Kissinger: Moscow
and Washington Must Cooperate), Nezavisimaia gazeta, June 7,


Dmitri Trenin

Between 2003 and 2005, Russia finally decoupled

from the West in terms of its foreign policy orientation.
Russia is now on its own, unashamedly pursuing
its self-interest. Moscows estrangement from the
United States and the European Union (EU) has major
implications for Russian security and defense policy.
This paper will discuss Russias threat perception and
its strategic posture.

Strategic Philosophy.

Russian strategic policymakers have no ideology.

However, they respect what they regard as the laws of
Realpolitik. They believe that all nations seek to expand
their influence, and in order to do so they rely on their
power, both hard and soft. In their view, military force
is a usable tool of foreign policy, and war can be a
legitimate extension of policy: war prevention is not
enough. They focus on states military capabilities,
rather than their political affiliations. Essentially this
means that any country with a substantial military
potentialwhether an advanced Western democracy,
an emerging Asian power, or a restive Middle Eastern
regimecan become a threat to Russia under the
circumstances. This highly pessimistic worldview,
which results from the analysis of post-Cold War
strategic developments, represents a near-total
repudiation of the Mikhail Gorbachev and early
Boris Yeltsin-era philosophy of common security.

Demilitarization of Russian strategic thinking is a thing
of the past. This, however, does not mean a return to
the Cold War mentality. More likely, Russian strategic
thinkers and practitioners are back 100-120 years in
time, in the pre-World War I environment of ruthless
strategic competition among the major powers.

Strategic Environment.

In the assessment of its professional military,

Russias external security environment has worsened
since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The Russian
Federation, they claim, finds itself in a dynamic and
unstable neighborhood, with relations to a number of
countries being tense, with tensions at times reaching
dangerous levels. This is an amazing statement,
which professes to minimize the dangers of Cold War
confrontation and reveals the tenacity of traditional
geopolitical thinking. Moscows loss of ground in
Central and Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and
Central Asia is thus deemed more important than
the gain in essentially nonadversarial relations with
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Europe
and the countries of Northeast Asia. This, however, is
consistent with the general view that demilitarization
of relations with any country is a utopia. There can be
no permanent friends.
This is not to say that Russian strategists do not
value the current absence of military confrontation in
Europe. They note with satisfaction the EUs general
disinterest in building an integrated European military
force and NATOs recent focus on Afghanistan. Moscow
is, in principle, happy with the format of its relations
with both the EU and NATO, which allows Russia to
have a window on its neighbors and a possibility to
raise any issue with them. It is very important that

both relationships rest on the principle of equality and
do not imply Russias subordination to the powerful
Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Strategic Loneliness.

Still, Russian leaders remain highly skeptical about

the outlook for Russian-Western security cooperation,
even though they admit a degree of commonality of
interests. This conclusion is based on their reading of
the results of the post-Cold War period during which
they maintain the West took advantage of Russias
temporary weakness. Interaction with the West has
not enhanced Russias military security, claimed
General Staff Chief Yuri Baluevsky.
Vis--vis China, Russia enjoys a partnership
relationship which it believes is its biggest strategic gain
since 1991. Moscow has acknowledged Chinas rise and
seeks to preserve an essentially equal relationship with
its dynamic neighbor. However, Russian strategists
recognize that an alliance with China, even if it were
possible, would be Beijing rather than Moscow-led.
More importantly, Russians remain ambivalent about
the nature of the Sino-Russian relationship over the
long term.
Moscows nominal allies in the Collective Security
Treaty Organization (CSTO) are either too weak
(Kyrgyzstan), too self-centered (Armenia), or not
loyal enough (Tajikistan). The remaining bigger CSTO
members, Belarus and Kazakhstan, are increasingly
independent-minded. Even though security relations
with each of the CSTO countries are important in the
relevant regional contexts, alliance relationships play
a secondary and even tertiary role in Russias strategic
calculations. Basically, Russia is on its own, and alone.
Its only true allies, just as 120 years ago, are its own

Army and Navy. Enhancing national military power is
the overriding priority for the Kremlin.

The Principal Threat.

Russias principal global concern is with U.S. foreign

and security policy. Russian strategists see the United
States as a dangerous nation, just like the title of Robert
Kagans most recent book. America, they reason, does
not want a strong Russia, whom it fears as a potential
strategic competitor, and thus resists its recovery and
revival. U.S. policies and actions, especially in the
areas of Russias vital interests, i.e., Central Eurasia,
are regarded as presenting a threat to Russia and its
interests. This threat comes in various ways.
From the political perspective, Moscow believes
that a decade and a half after the end of the Cold
War, Washington still considers Russia an adversary,
along with China and the rogue states, Iran and North
Korea. It took recent remarks by Defense Secretary
Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence
Mike McConnell as proof of that. Russian government
analysts point to what they regard as an anti-Russian
cabal in the Washington corridors of power involving
members of Vice-President Dick Cheneys office, senior
officials at the Departments of State and Defense, at
the intelligence community, and on the Capitol Hill,
on both sides of the aisle. They regard U.S. support
for democracy in Russia as frankly subversive, and
blame the U.S. media not only for anti-Russian bias,
but more ominously for launching periodic campaigns
of information warfare against Russia.
In geo-strategic terms, Moscow views with a wary
eye the U.S. military presence near Russian borders.
Since 2000, the United States has established bases in

Romania, Bulgaria, and Central Asia; sent military
personnel to train and equip the Georgian military and
exercised regularly with Ukrainian forces in Crimea
and Western Ukraine. Further NATO enlargement,
especially to include Georgia and Ukraine, would be
regarded by Russian politico-military leaders as a clear
Since the mid-1990s, Russian strategic planners
have noted U.S. propensity to use massive military
force to achieve decisive political objectives. U.S./
NATO bombings of the Bosnian Serbs first signaled the
new trend, NATOs air war against Yugoslavia over
Kosovo represented the watershed, and the invasion
of Iraq confirmed it. Humanitarian interventions of
the 1990s paved the way to preventive wars of choice
in the 2000s. Moscow also realized that the United
Nations (UN) Security Council, where it has a veto,
and even the NATO alliance where several countries
questioned U.S. policies, were not much of a constraint
on the United States, which would bypass the UN and
rely on the coalitions of the willing for a modicum of
international legitimacy. Since 2005, Moscow U.S.-
watchers have been expecting the United States to
strike against Iran, destabilizing the situation south of
Russian borders still further. As Russians have noted,
all major U.S. military operations include a massive air
campaign fought with precision-guided munitions and
supported by sophisticated intelligence capabilities.
From 2003, defending against an airspace attack has
been officially designated as the principal task of the
Russian Armed Forces.
Moscow has noticed U.S. disdain for arms control
agreements. The George W. Bush administrations
withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty and its initial unwillingness to proceed with

strategic arms reductions were interpreted as reflecting
a U.S. desire to be fully unbound. U.S. plans to construct
ballistic missile defense (BMD) sites in Central Europe
are deemed to be part of a global plan to achieve
strategic superiority over Russia: Iran, the Russians
maintain, is only camouflage. Russia watches U.S.
military programs with alarm in regard to outer space
and perfecting nuclear weapons and their employment
strategies. In particular, Russian strategists point to U.S.
efforts aimed at miniaturizing nuclear weapons which
would then become usable on the battlefield. Last, but
not least, Russians believe the United States would use
their weakness to its advantage. NATO enlargement
and the fate of the Conventional Armed Forces in
Europe (CFE) Treaty are cited as examples. It follows
that no promises or assurances from the United States
should be accepted at face value.

Other Threats.

Though U.S. policies remain Russias principal

strategic concern and a potential central threat,
Russian security is more immediately affected by other
factors. Moreover, in a number of cases Russian and
U.S./Western interests coincide to a significant extent,
thus creating a foundation for collaboration. There
are shooting wars along the perimeter of Russias
borders. Moscow does not object to U.S./NATO
military presence in Afghanistan. Immediately after
September 11, 2001 (9/11), Russia and the United States
cooperated closely to remove the Taliban from power
in Afghanistan. The 2001 U.S.-led operation, assisted
by Russia, removed the most serious external threat to
Russias security. Moscow has been willing to assign
Afghanistan to the U.S./NATO zone of responsibility,

but it is increasingly uncertain about the length and
depth of the Western commitment to the security of
that country. It fears a collapse of the Western effort
and a return of the Taliban.
A much more threatening prospect would be
destabilization of Central Asia. This could result
from either of two sources: an outpouring of Islamist
radicalism from a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, or an
Islamist-led domestic uprising in a Central Asian
country against the authorities. The latter, in the
Russian view, might well be the result of U.S.-sponsored
democracy promotion, undermining the legitimacy of
the secular authoritarians.
The war in Iraq, from the Russian perspective,
harbors the threat of releasing into the neighborhood
and beyond thousands of hardened and experienced
jihadists. Some of these people could find their way
into Russias North Caucasus and into Central Asia,
threatening the precarious status quo there. Another
danger of a deteriorating situation in Iraq lies in the
prospect of a military showdown between the United
States and Iran. Even though some elements in Russia
might relish at the prospect of the United States
becoming ever deeper bogged down in the Middle
East, and in particular over the likely jump in oil prices,
such a war would have the tremendous downside of
radicalizing Russias southern neighborhood. It would
also lead to a sharp political division, even alienation,
between Moscow and Washington, far beyond where
the Russians would feel it safe to go.
The issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
proliferation, at the heart of the U.S.-Iranian dispute,
is recognized by Russians as both real and serious, but
not immediate or necessarily catastrophic. Moscow
generally prefers to deal with individual cases of WMD

proliferation with the use of political, not military,
instruments. From the Russian perspective, India has
never been a problem, though Pakistan was and is.
Israels deterrent is of existential matter and has been
in place for decades. The North Korean regime, though
not given much sympathy in the Kremlin, is believed to
be resorting to nuclear and missile blackmail not only
as a means of procuring much-needed resources, but
as a security policy in view of U.S. policies of regime
change. Iran, as a major regional player, is a more
serious case, the Russians believe, and it needs to be
managed politically on a quid pro quo basis.
As Russia claims to be an energy superpower, its
strategists regard as threats any actions that would
deny it access to energy resources or block transit of
Russian natural gas and oil. Russians also take a dim
view of calls to create an energy NATO, which
would unite European energy consumers under U.S.
leadership and offer protection to those member states
that may have energy disputes with Russia.
Russia has the worlds longest land borders. When
the Soviet Union broke apart, much of their length
was not enshrined in treaties. Of the agreements
concluded since then, the several treaties with China
stand out. President Vladimir Putin regards finalizing
the Russo-Chinese border along its entire length as one
of his most important foreign policy achievements. By
contrast, the territorial issue with Japan has remained
unresolved. Russian strategists count current and
potential territorial claims on Russia, including in the
Arctic, among the more relevant threats to its national
The frozen conflicts in the former Soviet space,
Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-
Karabakh, are fraught with the danger of new violence.

In such an event, Russia will become immediately
involved due to its military presence as peacekeeper
in the first three conflict areas, as the principal patron
of the unrecognized states, and also because most
Abkhazians and South Ossetians, as well as many
Transnistrians, hold Russian passports. Moscows
concerns are of two kinds. One is that Russia is
provoked into a military response, especially by
Georgia, which would transform small ethnic conflicts
into a full-blown interstate one, with the West rallying
behind Tbilisi. The other concern is that the current
nonperforming formula for peaceful resolution, which
places Russia into the dominant position, is replaced
by a multilateral format in which Western institutions,
such as NATO, will play the leading role.
During much of Russias post-Soviet history, its
forces were engaged in the conflict in Chechnya. By
the mid-2000s, hostilities in Chechnya had died down.
Putins policy of Chechenization has worked. Still, the
North Caucasus remains a locus of volatility and
insecurity, with separatism and terrorism continuing
as threats to the stability of the Russian Federation.
From the Kremlins perspective, Western public
condemnation of Russian actions in Chechnya and the
granting of asylum to several separatist leaders testify
to the Western interest in weakening and destabilizing
Finally, Russian strategists recognize the importance
of information warfare, and not only with reference to
the Western media. They are particularly concerned
with the spread of radical Islamist propaganda that may
affect the loyalties of the growing Muslim community
in the Russian Federation.

Policy Implications.

Russias policies are not, at least not yet, anti-

American. Having rejected U.S. tutelage, Moscow is
not willing to become a junior partner to China. Rather,
its strategists and policymakers see Russia on a par
with both America and China, as one of the worlds
principal independent strategic actors. The global
strategic situation is still fluid, with no firm dividing
lines. With Washington, Moscow seeks a relationship
that would be based on equality, a kind of partnership
through strength. Failing that new deal, Russia
would have to brace itself for strategic rivalry and
competition, combined with cooperation in a limited
number of areas.
Russian strategists expect the EU to remain
incoherent for some time and have discounted it
as a strategic factor in Europe. They have similarly
discounted NATO, whose focus has shifted to
Afghanistan. From Moscows perspective, the country
to watch in Europe is the United States, which reaches
out in particular to Moscows former Warsaw Pact
allies and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
partners, who bear grudges against Russia.
Moscow has made bolstering its strategic deterrence
capability a major priority. The nuclear triad will be
maintained, and its elements modernized. Having
managed to stabilize, albeit at a fairly low level, its
conventional forces, the Russian leadership now
prepares to start its first post-Soviet modernization
and rearmament program. This effort is likely to be
substantial, but modest by comparison to the Soviet
programs of the 1970s and 1980s. Russia will have

more contract soldiers, but will keep conscription
and a scaled-down mobilization base for a large-scale
war which its strategists refuse to rule out. At this
juncture, the Kremlin is primarily concerned with
keeping tight control over the money flows within the
defense establishment. As the defense industrial base
is being slowly revived, it is also being restructured.
Aerospace, shipbuilding, and defense exports have
been designated as the key sectors.
Moscow can be expected to work actively against
NATO enlargement to include Georgia and Ukraine.
It will appeal to diverse interests inside NATO in an
effort to derail or constrain those developments, such
as NATO enlargement and BMD deployments, which
it sees as detrimental to its security. It will continue
to press for complete U.S. military withdrawal from
Central Asia.
Russia is starting to rethink arms control. The
Kremlin is leaning to terminate Russias participation
in the treaties which have outlived their usefulness
or constrain Moscows efforts to provide for national
security. This concerns primarily the CFE and
Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties
concluded, respectively, in 1990 and 1987. Russia,
however, has not lost interest in arms control. It would
be ready to negotiate new, but more comprehensive,
agreements, i.e., including other countries besides
NATO members and itself, and on an equal footing.
Otherwise, the Kremlin would prefer a freedom of
Moscows alliances policy has a very limited place
in the overall strategy. It sees little use in permanent
arrangements. The CSTO is not a Warsaw Pact II.
The Russian Armed Forces aim for full strategic and
operational self-sufficiency, even as they exercise with
CSTO and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

partners and seek to develop interoperability with
Chechnya and the North Caucasus remain
the Kremlins most immediate security concern.
Chechenization, or better said, Kadyrovization, can
only be a temporary solution. Even though Moscow
has learned that only Muslims can control Muslims,
it is still far from restoring stability to its vulnerable
southern flank. With regard to Central Asia, Russia
will continue to bolster the local regimes, and seek to
engage them more closely bilaterally and within the
CSTO. The Russians have concluded that democracy
promotion does not bring liberals to power, but can
help Islamist radicals to topple secular authoritarians
and create instability. In Afghanistan, should NATO
fail, Russia will probably fall back to supporting its
friends in the former Northern Alliance; if they fail,
it would have to either cut deals with the Taliban, or
seek new ways of opposing them. The lesson Moscow
learned in Afghanistan says that yesterdays enemy
can turn out to be a friend, and vice versa.
Russian leaders see the situation in Iraq as hopeless
for the United States, and prepare for the consequences
of that major failure of the U.S. policy, in particular, an
influx of jihadists. With reference to Iran, Moscow will
continue to plead for a political solution, but above all
will stay out of the fray. The Kremlin fears that taking
on a major Islamic power would provoke a clash of
civilizations, including within countries with sizeable
Muslim minorities, as in Russia. Russias preferred
option would be to wait for internal moderate forces
in Iran to mature and work from within to mellow a
recalcitrant regime.
Russia keeps a wary eye on Pakistan, where internal
destabilization and Islamist radicalization cannot be
ruled out.

Last, but not least, there is China. From Moscows
perspective, good-neighborly relations with the Asian
giant are a must. Right now, the relationship is good,
with economic exchanges growing. Politically, China
and Russia are partners in Central Asia; they also want
an end to U.S. global dominance. The still thriving arms
relationship is important for both countries. Moscow
is highly allergic to real or perceived U.S. attempts to
undermine its partnership with Beijing. Yet, there are
real constraints on that partnership, including latent
fears on both sides.
Russian strategic planners believe that China will
not present a major threat to Russia at least for the
next 15-20 years. By 2020-30, Russia hopes to have
fully recovered, sufficiently developed its eastern
provinces, and modernized its military, providing
it with effective deterrence capabilities. By that time,
China and the United States can be expected to be
the worlds principal strategic competitors, keenly
focused on each other. Rather than being sandwiched
between two superpowers, Russia hopes to be a major
independent actor and maybe even an arbiter between
the two.


R. CRAIG NATION has been Professor of Strategy

and Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the
U.S. Army War College since 1996. He specializes
in security affairs with a special emphasis upon the
European and Eurasian areas. He has taught History
and International Relations at Duke University, the
University of Southern California, Cornell University,
and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies. Professor Nation earned his Ph.D.
in Contemporary History from Duke University.

DMITRI TRENIN is a senior associate of the Carnegie

Endowment, the deputy director of the Carnegie
Moscow Center and chair of its Foreign and Security
Policy Program. He has been with the Center since
its inception in 1993. From 1993-97, Mr. Trenin held
posts as a senior research fellow at the NATO Defense
College in Rome, a visiting professor at the Free
University of Brussels and a senior research fellow at
the Institute of Europe in Moscow. He served in the
Soviet and Russian armed forces from 1972 to 1993,
including experience working as a liaison officer in the
External Relations Branch of the Group of Soviet Forces
Germany and as a staff member of the delegation to
the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms talks in Geneva from 1985
to 1991. He also taught at the Defense University in
Moscow. Mr. Trenin authored Getting Russia Right
(2007, forthcoming); Russias Restless Frontier: The
Chechnya Factor in Post-Soviet Russia (2004; with Aleksei
V. Malashenko) and The End of Eurasia: Russia on the
Border Between Geopolitics and Globalization, (2001). He
edited, with Steven Miller, The Russian Military: Power
and Policy (2006).